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Can Braces Fix Teeth Grinding?

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A smiling female patient showing off her braces.

Braces are great for treating many different oral health problems and improving the overall look of your smile. But if you’re someone who struggles with teeth grinding, are braces a suitable treatment for you?

Today, we’ll look at how teeth grinding develops and the unique circumstances where braces may be the best choice for preserving your smile and oral health. Of course, every situation is a bit different, so the first step you should take if you’re struggling with teeth grinding is to book an appointment for a comprehensive dental exam.

During the exam, we’ll look for issues contributing to symptoms and recommend a strategy for managing the problem as early as possible. Find out how our team at Symmetry Dental can help you, and book an appointment with us today.

Why Are You Grinding Your Teeth?

So, why do you grind your teeth?

Teeth grinding and clenching is a common oral health concern known as bruxism. Depending on your symptoms, it can lead to long-lasting jaw problems, damaged teeth, or even headaches. However, it’s essential to know that bruxism might not cause any symptoms initially, but issues can develop over time.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include:

  • Aching teeth or jaws, notably in the morning.
  • Pain or stiffness in your face and temple.
  • Headaches or earaches.
  • Fractured, flattened, chipped, or cracked teeth.
  • Tooth sensitivity, especially when you consume hot or cold food and drink.


One of the more common reasons why you might develop bruxism is because of stress and anxiety. However, bruxism can also develop if you have jaw alignment problems or misaligned, missing, or broken teeth.

How Braces Can Help

Now that we know what bruxism is and how it can affect your oral health, let’s look at how braces can help address certain issues contributing to your bruxism symptoms.

One of these issues is malocclusion.

Malocclusion is a problem with your bite. It can occur for several reasons, but it can have a lasting impact on your oral health. There are a few different types of malocclusion you can develop, like:

  • Overbites: when your upper jaw juts out further than your lower jaw, covering a portion of your lower teeth. Overbites may also be known as deep bites.
  • Underbites: when your lower jaw juts out further than your upper jaw.
  • Crossbites: when your upper and lower jaw doesn’t align appropriately for your teeth.
  • Open Bites: when you can close your back teeth together, but there’s a space at the front of your bite.

Dentists can detect malocclusion during a routine dental exam. Most malocclusion cases are hereditary, but some can occur because of injury, overcrowding adult teeth, or even thumbsucking when you’re an infant.

Regardless of what type of malocclusion you might be experiencing, braces can help treat these issues by realigning your teeth and jaw.

Getting Braces

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that gently shifts your teeth in place using a combination of brackets, wires, and elastics. It’s common for teenagers to start wearing braces once all of their adult teeth come in, but adults can also benefit from braces if they’re looking to address specific oral health problems or simply improve the overall look of their smile.

While wearing your braces, your orthodontist will periodically place a new wire on your brackets to start aligning your teeth into a straighter position. It may take a couple of years to complete, but taking care of your braces and keeping up with your regular check-up appointments are great ways to help support your treatment.

What About Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative orthodontic treatment also designed to help straighten teeth. However, instead of braces, you wear a series of plastic aligners that pressure your teeth to help set them in place. Invisalign typically takes longer to complete than braces, but it can help achieve similar results.

But is it appropriate for treating bruxism? It depends. Although Invisalign is a great alternative to braces, it may not be effective for treating severe misalignments and malocclusion. In severe cases, your orthodontist might recommend:

  • Headgear
  • Oral surgery
  • Removable appliance
  • Retainers
A smiling female patient has her braces examined by a dentist.

Other Ways to Manage Teeth Grinding

Of course, braces aren’t the only treatment for bruxism. Depending on what’s causing your problems, we could recommend various other strategies to help manage potential symptoms.

Some of these could include:


Nightguards are common for protecting your teeth from grinding while you sleep. There are numerous boil-and-bite guards at your local pharmacy, but we recommend speaking to our team before using any over-the-counter products.

Stress Management

Stress is one of the main contributing factors to bruxism, so we may recommend practicing some stress management exercises to help control your symptoms.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends:

  • Staying active
  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises

Behaviour Changes

Simple behaviour changes like eating a healthy balanced diet and limiting the amount of caffeine and alcohol consumed can also help manage bruxism symptoms. 

Book an Appointment Today

If you’re currently struggling with facial, tooth, or jaw pain, we recommend booking an appointment with your dentist. We can help determine what may be causing your discomfort during a comprehensive dental exam and possibly provide strategies to help manage your symptoms.Learn more about your oral health and book your appointment today at Symmetry Dental.

Braces, those orthodontic marvels, are celebrated for their ability to correct misaligned teeth and create stunning, confident smiles. However, while they might not be the first solution that comes to mind when one thinks of treating teeth grinding, there are unique circumstances in which braces can play a crucial role in preserving both the aesthetics and health of your teeth. To unravel this intriguing confluence of orthodontics and oral health, we must first delve into the intricate world of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a pervasive and often perplexing condition. It’s a nocturnal symphony of clashing teeth, an unintentional battle waged within the confines of one’s mouth while the mind is blissfully unaware. The gnashing and grinding are not merely a nuisance; they can lead to a myriad of dental issues, such as worn enamel, fractured teeth, jaw pain, and headaches. Beyond the immediate discomfort, bruxism can also have a lasting impact on the alignment of your teeth, and this is where the journey towards considering braces as a solution begins. At the core of bruxism lies an enigmatic puzzle: What compels one’s teeth to engage in this relentless nocturnal ritual? The causes are multifaceted, encompassing stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and even misaligned teeth. It’s the last of these, the misalignment, that gives rise to a potential role for braces in addressing teeth grinding. Picture your teeth as soldiers on a battlefield, standing askew, without the harmonious alignment they should maintain. This misalignment can become a catalyst for bruxism as the teeth, in their misfit arrangement, attempt to find equilibrium through grinding. Hence, the strategic use of braces to rectify the misalignment is akin to reshaping the battlefield, reducing the incentive for this unintentional conflict. To embark on this transformative journey, the first crucial step is to seek professional guidance through a comprehensive dental examination. At Symmetry Dental, our experienced team will scrutinize your oral health with a discerning eye, searching for the subtle nuances contributing to your teeth grinding symptoms. It is through this meticulous assessment that a personalized strategy for managing the problem can be crafted, one that takes into account your unique dental needs and aspirations. Braces, as part of this strategy, offer a multifaceted solution. Beyond their cosmetic benefits, they possess the power to reposition misaligned teeth, thus realigning the dental battlefield, and potentially reducing the incentive for bruxism. The gradual, controlled pressure applied by braces helps to guide your teeth into their intended positions, thereby promoting a healthier bite. This correction can not only alleviate the discomfort associated with bruxism but also restore the aesthetic harmony of your smile. However, it’s important to note that braces may not be the singular answer for every individual grappling with teeth grinding. The root causes of bruxism can vary, and a comprehensive dental examination is instrumental in determining the appropriateness of orthodontic intervention. Furthermore, while braces can address the consequences of misaligned teeth, they may not entirely eradicate the underlying stress or anxiety triggers that contribute to bruxism. Therefore, a holistic approach to bruxism management may also encompass stress reduction techniques, dental splints or mouthguards, and a collaborative effort between you and your dental care team. In the realm of orthodontics, the role of braces is continually evolving, expanding beyond their traditional mission of enhancing smiles to addressing broader oral health concerns. As we navigate the intricate landscape of teeth grinding, it becomes clear that the application of braces is not only a testament to their versatility but also a testament to the advancement of dental care. The quest for that elusive perfect smile is often intertwined with the pursuit of optimal oral health, and in the realm of braces and teeth grinding, the two goals converge. In closing, the prospect of utilizing braces to combat teeth grinding underscores the dynamic nature of modern dentistry. It’s a reminder that oral health is a multifaceted tapestry, interwoven with both aesthetics and function. As you consider the path forward in your journey towards a healthier, more harmonious smile, it is essential to remember that the first step is a comprehensive dental examination, an exploration of your unique needs, and a collaborative strategy to preserve your oral health and bring forth the best version of your smile. At Symmetry Dental, we stand ready to guide you on this transformative odyssey, and we invite you to book an appointment with us today to embark on a voyage of oral health and discovery. Teeth grinding and clenching, medically known as bruxism, is a widespread dental issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While it may seem like a harmless habit, bruxism can lead to serious oral health problems and cause discomfort and pain. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for bruxism to help you better understand this condition and how to manage it. I. What is Bruxism? Bruxism is a term used to describe the involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth, often occurring during sleep. It can also occur during waking hours, but nighttime bruxism is more common. The condition can range from occasional, mild grinding to chronic, severe clenching, and it can have a significant impact on your oral health. II. Causes of Bruxism Understanding the underlying causes of bruxism is essential for effective prevention and treatment. While the exact cause may vary from person to person, several factors can contribute to the development of bruxism: Stress and Anxiety: Psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety, are common triggers for bruxism. People may clench or grind their teeth as a response to emotional tension or pressure. Malocclusion: Dental misalignment or an improper bite, known as malocclusion, can lead to bruxism. When the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together correctly, it can result in grinding to alleviate discomfort. Sleep Disorders: Sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders have been linked to bruxism. In an attempt to open the airway, individuals with sleep apnea may grind their teeth during sleep. Lifestyle Factors: Alcohol consumption, smoking, and caffeine intake can also increase the risk of bruxism. These substances can stimulate the nervous system and contribute to teeth grinding. Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants and stimulants, may cause bruxism as a side effect. III. Symptoms of Bruxism Bruxism can have a wide range of symptoms, and some individuals may not even be aware of their condition. Recognizing the signs of bruxism is crucial for early intervention and prevention of dental problems. Common symptoms include: Tooth Damage: The most noticeable effect of bruxism is tooth damage. Over time, the grinding and clenching action can wear down the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity, chipping, and fractures. Jaw Pain: Bruxism often results in jaw pain or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort. This can lead to headaches and facial pain. Tension Headaches: The constant muscle tension in the jaw and face can trigger tension headaches, often radiating to the temples and forehead. Earaches: Bruxism can cause referred pain, leading to earaches, as the jaw and ear share common nerve pathways. Disrupted Sleep: If bruxism primarily occurs during sleep, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep, leading to fatigue and daytime drowsiness. Bruxism Noise: Some individuals with bruxism may be made aware of their condition by a sleeping partner due to the noise produced by grinding or clenching. Facial Muscle Enlargement: Chronic bruxism may cause hypertrophy of the jaw muscles, leading to a more squared-off appearance of the face.
Dr. Saleema Adatia, Calgary dentist

Written by Dr. Saleema Adatia

Dr. Saleema Adatia earned her Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DMD) from Tufts University in 2006. Since then, she’s been committed to serving her patients’ needs with the utmost passion. Dr. Adatia has owned and operated Symmetry Dental since 2013 and has integrated high-quality services with friendly care into the philosophy of the practice.

With a goal of providing the best patient care possible, Dr. Adatia ensures that her practice stays up to date with the latest dental technologies and techniques. Her personal passion for dentistry stems from a desire to create a positive impact on each patient’s quality of life. Whether that means treating people’s pain or restoring function and beauty to their smiles, the goal is always the same: to help make patient’s lives just a little bit better by working together in harmony.

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